Mobility - June 2020 - 48

"W

influence expat families as they choose whether or
e have friends all over the
not to enroll their children in an international school.
world who have never
Schools may also offer parent groups that
moved, and they think that
provide support to new families as they cope with
relocating to a new country
the emotional, social, and practical issues inherent
is a vacation for us. They
in the transitions of expatriate life. At London's
only see the benefits, not the hard work to get there."
TASIS The American School in England, a parent
That's from Anna, a mother of three who moved
association includes the Parents' Information and
with her family from Poland, her native country, to
Resource Committee (PIRC). Along with social
Germany and then to London.
events, these parent volunteers organize orientaHer opinion is shared by many in the expat community. It is true that people who have never moved
tion seminars and information sessions on different
internationally do not know the potential problems
practical topics, such as driving in the U.K. And
an expat family faces. Sonya, a Canadian who lives
not only do they support families as they adjust to
in the U.K. after moving from Switzerland, also
life in England, but they also help prepare them for
points out the challenges of moving internationally:
their next move.
"Relocating can be a lonely proposition. Often, local
Expatriates with children can also ask about
communities are reluctant to welcome expats in if
"buddy" programs that can help new families settle
they think we will only be around for a short time.
in to school and adapt to life in a new country by
This is something that most people may not foresee,
connecting them with others who have already been
and it can prove to be quite difficult."
through the relocation experience and may have
One thing is certain: Almost every person who
children of a similar age and gender. Shoko, who
moves between countries will experience "culture
just returned to her native Japan after a few years in
shock." Definitions vary, but in a September 2019
the U.K., is an enthusiastic advocate of expat parent
article on Investopedia, Troy Segal provides a good
networking: "We've moved roughly every four
summary: "Culture shock is the feeling of uncertainty, years. We were introduced to a buddy family, who
confusion, or anxiety that people experience when
were very helpful and provided much support. We
visiting, doing business in, or living in a society that
found the parent community an invaluable network,
is different from their own." Expats will immediately
which helped us settle in and greatly enriched our
relate to this definition.
experience over our four years in the U.K."
Overcoming culture shock is key to a successful reloIf families are able to enroll their children in a
school
before an official move, that in-country contact
cation. It may be experienced at varying levels, dependcan
help
to prepare transferees for life in their new
ing on how different expats' native culture is from the
home and be a source of great advice. Conversations
culture they are moving to. Over time, some people
can cover topics as diverse as the better areas for
can overcome culture shock on their own, but they
housing, the need to buy a car, the health care system,
don't have to. Organizations are available to provide
how to open a bank account, and how to get mobile
help, advice, and resources to allow transferees to better
and internet connections, among other concerns. Any
adjust to the new society in which they will live.
family relocating with teenagers knows how importFor expats moving with children, these organizations include international schools.
ant this last item can be, since even a day without
connection will seem like a disaster to your children.
For a less stressful relocation process, make sure to
A Built-In Community
manage these issues as soon as possible.
An international school offers access to families who
are or have been in the same situation. They understand the challenges of relocating to a new country
Overcoming the Language Barrier
and can identify with transferees. Often, school
Americans, Canadians, Australians, and other English
becomes the best "social club" for the international
speakers moving to the U.K. often think: "The U.K.?
family. This is an important consideration and may
Piece of cake. I already speak the same language."

48 Mobility | June 2020



Mobility - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mobility - June 2020

Mobility - June 2020 - Cover1
Mobility - June 2020 - Cover2
Mobility - June 2020 - 1
Mobility - June 2020 - 2
Mobility - June 2020 - 3
Mobility - June 2020 - 4
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Mobility - June 2020 - Cover3
Mobility - June 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_122020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_112020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_102020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_092020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_082020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_072020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_062020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_052020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_042020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_032020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_022020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_012020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_122019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_112019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_102019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_092019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_082019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_072019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_062019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_052019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_042019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_032019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_022019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_012019
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com